I've discovered the secret to running faster!
Would you like to know it? I'll share it with you!
Here it is:
Yeah. After a decade of running, it turns out that the key to running faster is, well, running faster.
I know I don't push myself hard enough when it comes to running. I like to run for the sake of running. I like to be outside and to break a sweat and to, well, run. But I'd like to run faster. Over the past couple of weeks I've discovered that I could run faster by just doing it.
Yeah. For me, it's that simple. You see, I'm slow - but I'm also lazy.
I've been reading too many race reports where people fought actual physical symptoms like wanting to vomit during their races. I don't have that. Instead, I have feelings like tired, whiny-tired, and I-really-want-to-stop-waaaah-whiny-tired.
That no longer goes. I will push myself from now on. I will try harder. No more long walk breaks mid-run. No more holding onto the pace in my pace runs for a mile and pretending like that's something. No more making excuses to avoid speedwork ("but it's so pretty out! why stay at the track when I can run along a river"). There's a time and a place for an easy run, but that's not every day, week-in and week-out.
Sometimes, the most obvious solution is the best solution. Tomorrow I'll show you how I put this into action.
*For those of you non-Egyptophiles, "je tiens l'affaire" is what Jean-François Champollion said on 14 September 1822 when he discovered the missing key to the decipherment of hieroglyphs. The French Champollion was in a race against a Britisher, Thomas Young, to become the first to translate the ancient Egyptian language. The legend is that he stayed up all hours, for weeks on end, attempting to crack the code and to understand the language. When he finally put it together, he rushed into his brother's office, shouted, "Je tiens l'affaire!" (roughly, "I've got it!") and promptly passed out, spending the next several days in bed.
On I went, out of the wood, passing the man leading without knowing I was going to do so. Flip-flap, flip-flap, jog-trot, jog-trot, curnchslap-crunchslap, across the middle of a broad field again, rhythmically running in my greyhound effortless fashion, knowing I had won the race though it wasn't half over, won it if I wanted it, could go on for ten or fifteen or twenty miles if I had to and drop dead at the finish of it, which would be the same, in the end, as living an honest life like the governor wanted me to. -Alan Sillitoe, "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"